Reasons to consider divorce |

Reasons to consider divorce

Reasons to consider divorce

The divorce rate in America is one of the highest in the world (over 50 percent). But the divorce rate of Muslims in North America is almost as high, according to New York based sociologist Ilyas Ba-Yunus.

Yes, it's true. Muslims today are divorcing in larger numbers than before. There are clearly problems within families that have not been addressed: dysfunction, miscommunication, and in a number of cases violence and abuse.

But while Muslims are taking this step in larger numbers, what does Islam have to say about it?

The Islamic perspective on divorce

"Divorce is something that is very much discouraged in Islam," explains Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA).

"It is called, according to one of the Hadith of the Prophet Sal Allahu alayhi wa Sallam (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) 'the most hateful thing that is permissible.'"

This stance discouraging divorce needs to be seen in a balanced way, notes Siddiqi.

"It has to be used very carefully," he says.

What are some legitimate reasons for a couple to consider divorce?

There are definitely valid reasons Muslim men and women can seek divorce.

"One legitimate reason is if there is immoral behavior, unIslamic behavior on the part of a spouse," says Siddiqi. "If a spouse is involved in that, then there is a breakdown."

"For example if one of the spouses, God forbid, is involved in adultery or fornication. In that case, they have a right to separate and this is a legitimate ground for separation."

Another valid reason for divorce is apostasy on the part of either spouse. If a Muslim man or woman's spouse leaves Islam, Siddiqi says the marriage is null and void and the couple can no longer be together.

Abdalla Idris Ali is a member of ISNA's executive body and former president of the organization. He adds to the list of legitimate reasons for seeking divorce dishonesty prior to marriage.

For instance, if a husband told his wife before marriage that he did not consume alcohol or drugs and she discovers after marriage that he is an alcoholic or drug addict.

Some other reasons are:

  • a woman was married before and she did not tell her husband
  • a woman marries man and he is impotent, and she finds out after marriage.
  • cruelty
  • a man's inability or refusal to support his wife
  • a wife's refusal to live with her husband or be with him.
  • if one of the spouses is unable to have conjugal relations
  • one spouse feels repulsion towards the other.

Ali, however, cautions against jumping to divorce quickly and adds that every case has to be looked at individually.

"It is one thing to speak about a ruling. It is another thing to speak about a judgement in a certain case," he says in an interview with Sound Vision and

"If you ask me now, what is the ruling in Islam for a young man who commits Zina (adultery and fornication)? I'll tell you Allah says, give him 100 lashes. This is what the Quran says."

"But you bring me a man and say, this man committed Zina. I'm not going just to give him 100 lashes. This is a case. I have to investigate it, to see whether he did it, you cannot just go and apply the rule."

Illegitimate reasons to seek divorce

Along with legitimate reasons for seeking divorce, Siddiqi and Ali also point to those that are not so acceptable.

Siddiqi gives the example of a husband not liking the way a wife cooks or dresses.

"One should not expect perfection on the part of the spouse because nobody's perfect except Allah and His Messenger. Everybody has shortcomings," he says in an interview with Sound Vision from his home in Orange County, California.

"One should have willingness to sacrifice some of the things," he adds. "This is how the family is established, how it becomes a better family.

Another reason that should not be grounds for divorce is just moodiness on the part of a spouse, says Ali.

What can couples do to avoid divorce?

Siddiqi recommends the following steps to couples who are in difficulty:

1. Both spouses should have the fear of Allah. They should remember that if they are unfair to their spouse, they will be judged on their behavior by Allah.
2. They should try to resolve the problem amongst themselves, then within family members
3. They should not hesitate to involve other members of the community. For instance, they should not feel ashamed or embarrassed to meet and speak with their local Imam (if he is someone fair and trustworthy to the husband and the wife).
4. Seek counseling, preferably from a Muslim counselor. If that is not possible than from a non-Muslim counselor. However, they should be aware of Islamic guidelines so they can take advice from that which is in line with Islamic values.

"As physically we can get sick, our relations also can get sick sometimes," says Siddiqi. "The sooner we take care of this problem the better. We should not prolong it. We should resolve the differences as soon as possible and as much as possible. But when problems go on and on, then the wounds will grow."

Siddiqi recommends Muslim couples draft a prenuptial agreement and specify that all conflicts in marriage should be resolved Islamically and in the case of divorce, this process, if it happens, is also handled in a manner in line with Islamic guidelines.


I got married last year november. He looked a sensitive guy and matured in his talks so I said yes. It was a arrange marriage. Just after marriage, the second month, he said his house expenses are more so I could help him financially. I am a working lady and I agreed. I said i will pay the expenses but he forced me to transfer him every month before certain date. It looked weird as if i was supposed to pay then why should i hand over the oney explicitly. Howevr i did it. This continued for 4 months. He never respected me. He used to disrecpect and could not bare the fact that I was well educated and working more than him. He used me only for my money and never loved me whole heartedly. I prayed to allah to show me a path. He used to frequently fight with me and stopped talking every 2nd or 3rd day. I was bearing all thinking he will change one day but he only loved or faked love when it was month end so that I could transfer him money. He kept it secret to his parents that i pay him every month. Once, during a fight i revealed it to his father that i pay him money monthly to which my husband raged in anger as his male ego was hurt. I figured out that he apparently said his parents that he was taking care of entire household which was a big lie. I was addiotionally taking care of his parents medicines and his parents were under the impression that it is the only money i spend for his family from my salary. After that he barely spoke to me, he used to go on trips for week and used to stop me from messaging him or calling him. He came late at nights and I was not supposed to ask the reason. He stayed away from me at nights and said that he would teach me a lesson. One fine day I was suffering from fever and he asked me to get out of the room and said I am shameless and if i was unwell i should to to my home as the room and house belonged to him. I said him to share the bed if he needs rest to and not to ask me to go out for which he said he needs privacy. I was shattered as there is privacy needed between a husband and wife. His parents blindinly supported him and asked me to adjust.I was having high fever. I called up my family and came back home. He lied in front of my family that he never asked me money and that i offered me out of concern. Its been 2 months i am at my parents's house and he has not even tried calling or reaching me even once. He has blocked me from social media and he is now acting like a victim. He lies a lot and would always treathen me of divorcing me for which i would beg for his forgiveness even when it wasnt my mistake. I had adjusted for many days but a person who can throw u out of his home when u are suffering high fever amidst this covid, is he even human. I have never seen or heard a case like mine before where a husband is financially abusing but in such a smarter way that no one comes to know. I pray Allah to guide me in this as what i have faced and seen cant be penned down completely. Please remember me in your prayers.



We moved my family and I. From California to Different places my wife's family is from there. She is always trying to go back and could leave for 2 months and not even thinking about me. We have kids and I honestly feel like I come last ig I tell her book your flight but don't stay too long she acts as if I committed a sin. I honestly don't want to be with her anymore but my children are very important to me. I give my wife all the love I can give her, all the material she wants, but she chooses to have her mindset on where we once lived and her family, forgetting she has one of her own. She barely like to get intimate, and is always saying she hates where she lives. I don't want to go back to Cali. I just want happiness in my household. What should I do.



Hey Abdu, I am in somewhat of a similar situation. Although we are now having a divorce with one child. It's something that I have come to realize that it were the old days, our previous generations, where there was an emphasis on the family a couple has now started instead of running back to mom and dad any chance one gets. It's difficult to understand how needy one can be with their parents that they would be willing to sacrifice own marriage. To make things further difficult, today's parents are also very intrusive and emotionally blackmail the other spouse to come back to live with them. 

My wife, had never really accepted me as her husband. I have given her everything, from a house to child to my career. In her mind, I was the least important person in her life. Her circle of family and friends is such that;

Her family > her brother > our child > her friends > me > my family

I have cried out all the tears I had for her. Dejected and defeated I went to her two times to stop this divorce process but to no avail. Now I am glad this is happening. I deserve better. My son deserves better. He should not grow up in a house where both parents dislike each other and argue infront of them. I feel sad that he will look at other kids and see two parents while he only has one at a time, but this is how life is once you get married to a toxic person and her equally toxic family.


Stay strong. It's extremely difficult especially for people who are not emotionally strong, like myself. But even I got past this initial pain. Nothing is a better medicine for this pain than time itself. It not only heals old wounds but gives you a chance at a better life.


Looking back, I do agree my life now (while a bit lonely) is still better than being with a person who thinks the absolute worst of me, while I tried my all to have her change that mindset.

Been married for 6 years with my wife, whom I fell in love with at a young age. Made it halal and got married later on. Things have spun for the worse as time flew. We've been constantly fighting on a regular basis, to the point that our marriage turned toxic. It is not something we wanted. I try my best to pray all the salah, keep a halal mindset, keep distance with non mahram girls.


One day, we had an argument, and in the middle of it, she admitted she cheated on me. My heart sank futther and finally broke. She told me it happened once and that she deeply regrets it.

I advised her to pray and seek forgiveness from Allah. She still doesn't pray, she is active on social media (I'm hardly active). I have been in and out of depression, thinking about whether divorce is best or continue.

Its a traumatic experience, and I do not feel that I can ever trust her again. I feel as though she has not sincerely repented to Allah as she does not pray but I'm giving her the benefit of the doubt. I am deeply traumatised. I tried my best to be a good husband but how can I when theres too much toxicity, when I do not feel like she is not comprising (or better yet, she does not compromise in the best way i.e. Praying).

It seems like she hasn't told me the full detail, that she is lying, she's being deceptive to not hurt me more (but what else can cause more hurt than this) or she's trying to make herself feel better.

I did cheat on her, but we weren't married at the time. 6 years into marriage, she cheated on me. 



Because you cheated first, she will never have that respect for you or feel bad for doing it back. People dont forget things like that. Now that you've both cheated lm each other, its fair, and hope you both start a fresh. 



I would suggest you check your local Muslim Council and seek advice from them. Or speak to an imam from a mosque (in person or over the phone).


May Allah bless you and grant you ease. 



It's been more than two years I got married! I married a man of my parents choice. At first everything was good but than things started to get worse day by day! I am a short temper girl! I can't take constant criticisms. I am really emotional too. My husband is totally opposite. He is calm minded guy but his words are very cruel to me. He is not so emotional about me. He treats me as if I am a temporary person stay or leave doesn't matter. Sometimes he is very nice to me but sometimes he behaves like he is my owner. He never gave importance to my likes and dislikes. But he do these in closed doors. Because of his this type of behaviour it mentally effected me and I started to react in every little things. I used to misbehave with my late mother in law. Though later when I calm down I felt sorry and bad of doing so. Day by day things started getting worse and he totally kept himself way from me. He doesn't let me touch him or he doesn't want to talk to me. I felt very disheartening and I used to cry night after night. Recently he said he hates me, I am not worthy of any of his love time anything. I crave for his attention but he doesn't care at all. He asked me to stay away from him. According to him I am not mentally healthy and I have done so many bad things it's not worthy to forgive.

I am not a regular prayer but I try to pray whenever I get chance. I never thought of cheating on him or live without him. I do love him so much but I doubt he doesn't and very soon he will ask for divorce. 

what should I do? Please give me any suggestion! 



Wassalam aleikum sisters and brothers! 
I would like to share a difficult situation that happened to me as a conclusion of 8 years of relationship!

At the time I was 26 years old, I was getting divorced of my first husband because he have been in prison 3 times inside of our marriage! 

At this time I've meet a Boy that was also Muslim, but his mom was converted to Islam before marriage! 
that was some kind of issue for my parents but in the end they allowed me to continue to get to know this boy! 

He was in Portugal all alone, his parents are from my parents country in Africa, so I felt secure to carry on, but this boy kept me for more 5 years, without making a serious action apart from words! 
meanwhile he have cheated on me several times, I kept forgiving him! 

One day he made me see him with another woman in a party that I was invited by his friends, and for my biggest surprise, it was also a party to wish him good luck to a trip to America, with the note " not coming back"

it was devastated for me, then I've passed him bye and I've tryed to move on with my life! 

after a few months he didn't appreciate to see me glowing and having fun, he tryed a new approach, I couldn't not say that I didn't love him, but I was hearth broken!

he was having serious difficulties out there and he convinced me to go visit him! 
I know, I was stupid... 

That turned into another hearth broken situation, I didn't felt that he repented what he have done to me, and after me sponsoring everything between us, I had also to provide food and gas while I was there!

At the very last minute before I fly back home, he told me that we will never meet again... I've spent the rest of the flight crying.

Time passed by and he called me and my mom, explaining to her what he have done to me on his way to America, and said that he repent and he wanted to marry me!

before I know, his parents were in Portugal and my father came from England to make the marriage! 

I got married while I was sleeping and I didn't even realise that that was happening!

after that I've talked to him and I've made him promise that he will respect this marriage, that he will follow the rules of Islam or I'll never forgive him, from this world till the next one! 
he said that he will respect! 

then he asked me to go visit him once again, I've told him that it was ok, but I'll not sponsor any part of it! That he have to take responsibilities now! 

after that was said, he didn't send me a dollar, I took 3 months of my time to meet him there, and he did nothing, but he got a new car, clothes and payed for professional pictures for his IG. 
In January I went back to my work and in March I've got the most devastating news from him!

My husband got arrested in America over the charges of rape! 

I just wanted to die, my life was a complete nightmare! I couldn't believe what was happening to me, another husband in jail, but this time for Rape! 

ive checked with his lawyer, and the event happened one day after we got married, after he compromise with me that he will respect the rules of Islam.

even though I've supported him in jail, I've send him money and I've found a way to have an American telephone number to get his phone calls!

but I was mad, mad at everything and everyone one!

ive decided to keep my mind busy, i when to África to work in my parents old houses, making renovations and constructions! 

and like we all know as Muslims, when the anger becomes bigger than your faith, sheitan takes over!

that was exactly what happened to me, I was so lonely, for years... forgiving things that I shouldn't just to get some love from who I love, I felt into the harms of a kafir, because I believed in his kind words! 

as a result of that I've got pregnant! 
before I realise that I was pregnant, I've stopped everything with him, with no regrets because he lied about converting, I was already 33 years old!

due to complications to my health I've returned to Europe, that's when I've find out about the pregnancy, I should have make a abortion? Yes or no! 
I prefer to not do it, but after this 2 years, I've continued to talk and send money to my "husband " in jail... after being for 6 months in Europe, my husband way free, but with a GPS on his ancle! 

I was happy but scared, because I had to tell him everything, he just wanted me to go see him face to face and talk!

now he his a true Muslim and he was ready to stay with me no matter what!

ive waited 2 weeks to let him breathe and enjoy some free time, and in does 2 week we started to argue again! 

but I've put that on the excitement to see me after almost 3 years!

but I was honest to him and I've told him the truth! 

right from the start, he cryed, then he said that he wanted me with him any way!

I was really surprised, I couldn't believe that this was him!

he asked to talk with my parents, that wasn't even talking with me, he asked then what he needed to do for my parents to allow me to go visit him and have the baby there! 

my mom ask him to call the next day, but he didn't!... 

he have text me and said that all his family is against me and they will never support him to stay with me!

that he have to stop this marriage for good or he have to find another family! 

I really loose hope believing in people, and I've repent from my sin, but most of all, I've repent to not get distance from him long time ago!

My life it's a nightmare, I'm expecting a child from a kafir and my husband doesn't keep his word in anything!

I just have Allah to help me to fight sheitan over and over again!

after I give birth I'll make sure I'll disappear and set my family free from this situation that I've put them through! 

Allah wakbar! 

thanks for reading this fast version of a chapter of my life! 



I will tell you this my dear sister, I believe a true believer never loses value in Allah sight. Know as human, Allah already has given you value. I don't deserve to give you advise but I will tell you this; life is content battle and your situation will get better as time goes by. Everything that doesn't kill us makes us stronger, but never in your life time fall for anyone accept Someone who has good connection with Allah. Also, advising myself then tell you my sister, give thanks to Allah for he is contently saving you from nightmares. May Allah fill the holes in your heart for he is owner of all hearts. Salaaam & Ramadan Kareem! 




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